Review of Atonement by Ian McEwan

I love the strong contrast!

Atonement by Ian McEwan. ★★1/2

I would not have read and certainly would not have finished Atonement if it were not required reading for my English class.

Not much happens in Atonement. I can enjoy books were there’s not much happening, but in that case I have to enjoy the characters.

I didn’t enjoy these characters. They were not sympathetic, likable, admirable or even interesting.

Heck, the book isn’t even funny. It’s just dull.

In short, Atonement did not give me a reason to care.

I will say that I liked the second and third section more, but they were incredibly out of joint from the first section. These three sections felt like different books entirely and did just not fit together.

However, many members of my English class are in spasms of delight over this book, so presumably they’re getting something I’m not. When I say that I don’t like Atonement, I’m normally accused of only liking fantasy and books where things explode, which doesn’t take into account how much I like Jane Austen or, say, East of Eden. There are plenty of interesting “literary” books where things happen or the characters are worth reading about. Atonement just isn’t one of them.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Agree completely. I can’t remember if I got all the way through this book, although I know I tried really hard to. It meandered for so long with all these descriptive diversions, I kept losing track of the story.

    1. “Meandering” is a great way to describe Atonement.

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